Bullying Behind Screens

By Makinzi Hinkle

Staff Writer

“Cyber-bullying is bullying that takes place using electronic technology” (www.stopbullying.gov). Some examples are rumors that are posted on social media, rude text messages, embarrassing pictures and fake profiles. Also, cyber-bullying happens 24/7. The effects of cyber-bullying are the use of alcohol and drugs, one would skip school, one would have lower self-esteem and more health problems than someone who isn’t a victim of cyber-bullying. Other than cyber-bullying, there’s cyber-stalking, trolling and the traditional bullying. “Cyber-stalking may include false accusations, monitoring, making threats, identity theft and damage to data or equipment”. (Wikipedia) Trolls might be engaged in harmless mischief. But trolls and cyberbullies don’t have the same goals. The electronic bullies can stay anonymous by using email accounts, instant messaging, text messaging, etc.

Cyber-bullying ties into social media very well. Cyber-bullying can take place on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. In the past year, “one million children were harassed, threatened or subjected to other forms of cyber-bullying on Facebook” (Wikipedia). On Facebook, there was a memorial page for young boys who took their life via suicide due to anti-gay bullying.  Along with social media, cyber-bullying can happen with online gaming. Men have experienced more harassment on online gaming, while women have experienced harassment on social media. Sexual harassment that occurs in gaming, towards women, involves slurs, “sex role stereotyping, and overaggressive language” (Wikipedia).

On a more personal note, I’ve experienced cyber-bullying all throughout high school and it didn’t stop until I was in college. Around the time when the cyber-bullying started, I was a freshman in high school. Midway through the year, I started dealing with depression. Both of them didn’t pick up until the last couple of months on my sophomore year. I had days where I didn’t want to go to school and I didn’t know what to do. I asked one of my best friends what I should do and she told me to seek help immediately. I took her advice and went down to this place called LINK, a place where you go to seek help and its kind of like therapy. The depression and cyber-bullying got so bad that I wanted to take my life via overdose but thankfully I didn’t. I went to LINK about three times a week and the therapy didn’t stop until I was 90% better. Now that I’m a sophomore in college, I’m thankful that I’m still here.

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